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Islands on the Edge
UK, Ireland & Hebrides

Click on a ship name to get more details about the vessel Antarctic Dream Plancius Molchanov and Multanovskiy Polar Star Corinthian Two Clelia Two 50 Years of Victory Kapitan Khlebnikov Click here to see various itineraries for Antarctica, the Arctic and Atlantic Islands cruises Antarctica The Arctic Atlantic Islands The Azores Dates and rates Antarctic dates and rates Arctic dates and rates Atlantic dates and rates Azores dates and rates

From the south of England via Ireland to the Hebrides – this is a journey of cultural and natural history delights. For the avid birder there are many opportunities to see large numbers of gannets, fulmars, kittiwakes, cormorants, guillemots and puffins.
Almost daily are new archaeological experiences from Bant’s Carn to blackhouses. The rugged coast was a challenge for man and nature alike to eke out an existence and shows the adaptability of both man and nature. This expedition cruise takes place in spring – a time of abundance, hope and growth - 12 nights/13 days
 
Day 1:
Tuesday, May 4 (England) Embark in picturesque Dartmouth.

Day 2:

Wednesday, May 5 (Isles of Scilly) These surprisingly sub tropical islands are located southwest of England’s mainland and here you will find the amazing Abbey Gardens of Tresco, Iron Age Halangy Village, charming island of St. Mary’s and Bant’s Carn, a Bronze Age village site.

Day 3:

Thursday, May 6 (Ireland) Skellig Rocks, a UNESCO site, is a remote formation of pinnacles of rock, home to an abandoned cliff side beehive monastery and fantastic Gannet colony. From there the ship heads to Dingle Peninsula for a tour ashore that provides spectacular views and relics that speak of the Potato Famine, Celtic and early Christian times.

Day 4:

Friday, May 7 (Ireland) The ship cruises along the Cliffs of Mohar in the early morning en route to the Aran Islands. Land at Killronan on Inishmore. Dramatic limestone pavements, charming stone walled fields and a Bronze Age fort, Dun Aengus, dramatically perched atop a 90 metre cliff are found on this island.

Day 5:

Saturday, May 8 (Ireland) In County Donegal first set off to Glencolmcille to see examples of rural Irish homes throughout the ages and then back to explore Killibegs independently – perhaps the carpet factory or a music session in the local pub.

Day 6:

Sunday, May 9 (Northern Ireland) The Giant’s Causeway is an interesting formation of basalt rock formed by volcanic activity. The afternoon is spent exploring Rathlin Island, known for fantastic bird cliffs and sites of archaeological interest.

Day 7:

Monday, May 10 (Scotland, Inner Hebrides) Enjoy the morning light in the gardens of Achamore House on the island of Gigha. Time on the Isle of Islay is divided between a visit to the Ardbeg Distillery – a whisky noted for its “peaty” flavour and a visit to Kildalton Cross and Chapel. The cross is a wonderful eighth-century Celtic ringed
cross.

Day 8:

Tuesday, May 11 (Inner Hebrides) One of the wildest and most mountainous islands of the Inner Hebrides, Isle of Jura is home to deer, mountain hare and eagles. Explore Loch Tarbert featuring intriguing raised beaches and caves. On the Isle of Colonsay plan to land in Kiloran Bay to enjoy the miles of sandy beach and a walk to Colonsay House whose original owner Malcolm MacNeil made his fortune building the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Leaving the island, cruise along the sharp escarpment watching for kittiwakes, cormorants and guillemots.

Day 9:

Wednesday, May 12 (Inner Hebrides) With high hopes for a calm day, the visit to Fingal’s Cave on Staffa could be on foot or by Zodiac. Nearby Iona is home to a grand abbey and burial ground for 62 Scottish Kings. It was the starting place for the spread of early Christianity through northern Europe.

Day 10:

Thursday, May 13 (Inner Hebrides) Tiree remains an excellent example of the traditional lifestyle of “crofting” and was once known as the breadbasket of the Inner Hebrides due to its abundant corn crops. “Pudding” or “Spotty” houses as well as white houses (tigh geal) and traditional blackhouses (tigh dubh) can be seen on this island.

Day 11:

Friday, May 14 (St Kilda) Once described as “the edge of the world” the remote island of St. Kilda has UNESCO World Heritage status for both natural and cultural significance. Inhabited since the Bronze Age, the resourceful St. Kildans lived by harvesting the seabirds in this harsh environment. Blackhouses and other remnants still remain. The St. Kildan archipelago is home of the world’s largest northern gannet population (65,000 breeding pairs) as well as St. Kilda wrens, Arctic skuas and Fulmars. Enjoy the afternoon cruise around the sea stacks to see this wildlife spectacle.

Day 12:
Saturday, May 15 (Outer Hebrides) Learn the story and see the real setting of the highly entertaining film “Whisky Galore” at Eriksay. Inhabited until 1912, Mingulay is now home to an abandoned settlement and impressive sea stacks and cliffs with a multitude of birds.

Day 13:

Sunday, May 16 (Scotland) Having navigated the Sound of Mull through the night, disembark in the charming highland town of Oban.

 

Note:

All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions and in order to take advantage of opportunities to see wildlife.